WWE | Pro Wrestling

Defending The Funkasaurus

Should I Get Him?

Brodus, old friend, you already did.

I know I usually write about bad gimmicks in my Bad Gimmick Hall of Fame series (although it’s been a while), but today, I find myself inspired by a new “terrible” gimmick… The Funkasaurus.

That’s right friends, I’m actually here to defend Brodus Clay’s new gimmick, no matter how much I really want to pretend I’m too grown up to enjoy it. There’s something about a big fat guy dancing around that keeps me, and generations of WWE fans coming back in droves.

I mean If you think about it, you can only have two kinds of fat guy wrestlers. One, is the monster heel that presents the seemingly insurmountable challenge to the baby face championship seeker. There’s only so far these guys can go, because eventually Hulk Hogan body slams them and they’re no longer unbeatable.

The second kind of fat guy wrestler is the gentle giant type, which can actually come in many variations. He can be loving, caring, funny, expressive… or he can know how to shake his considerable rump.

A prime example of just how far a dancing fat guy gimmick can get you is Rikishi. Solofa Fatu had been on the national wrestling scene since signing with the WCW as part of a tag team named the Samoan Swat Team in the late 80s. In the early 1990s, he signed with the WWF. While he had some solid runs as part of the Headshrinkers (one of my favorite tag team names of all time), his singles career never really took off with that same fervor.

Part of the blame can be put on the fact that he was saddled with some pretty awful singles gimmicks. He went from being a “man of the streets” to a mask-wearing sultan of some kind, and none of it was any good. Then, in the late 90s, and possibly as homage to his older brother (we miss you, Yoko), they started sending him to the ring in a sumo-like thong. Soon, he joined up with Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty) and joined in their post-match dance party. The rest, as they say, was history.

Could this be the path that Brodus Clay’s career takes? I remember seeing Clay briefly in the WWE in 2010, first on NXT, and then as the monster heel type (remember the fat guy gimmick rules?), accompanying Alberto Del Rio to the ring as his body guard. While Brodus showed some solid athleticism, this run didn’t set him up to be a star.

He was ultimately taken off WWE television and re-packaged. His debut was hyped for weeks. Every week, the executive vice president of talent relations and interim general manager of being a stiff, awkward doofus, John Laurinitis (a part he plays brilliantly, I might add) would be shown on the phone telling Clay that his debut needed to be pushed back another week.

When Brodus finally did debut, I was shocked. Maybe I don’t keep up with the rumor mills as much as I used to, but I did not see this gimmick coming at all. I figured Clay would come out again as the big monster, which I feel would have been disappointing. When the lights dimmed, the disco ball made an appearance and the music hit, I was a bit confused.

I can best express how I felt with this monologue: “What is going on here? Really, WWE? The Dancing fat guy is back? This will never, ever work!… wait he can move a little bit… hmm, he has dancing hot ladies with him… well, he’s a little funny… BRODUS!!”

I was in danger of being hooked. As long as he didn’t have a catchy catch-phrase, I would be OK though. Then, he bellowed out “Should I get him??,” and it was all over for me. It only took a couple of weeks for me to incorporate this saying into real life. Whether playing video games, building websites for my day job or driving down the street, I found myself asking (no one in particular) if I should “get” whatever enemy I was killing, web interactive I was pushing live or car I was cutting off on the highway (sorry!).

As I said, I’m a sucker for a dancing fat guy, when it’s done correctly. I like Brodus’ style. He’s very charismatic, and pulls off the happy, fun-loving Funkasaurus gimmick very well. I also like when he has a little too much fun, loses control, and splashes innocent people like William Regal. For me, and seemingly many WWE fans, it’s working out well so far for Mr. Clay. Time will tell if he remains popular (squash matches and dancing can only take you so far), but I look forward to seeing what else is in store for the big man.

Go get him, Brodus. You already got me. Now won’t somebody please call my momma?

Martin Stezano is a lifelong wrestling and sports fan. You can read more from him at his sports blog, http://www.jobus-rum.com, and check out his lighthearted look at his corporate day job at http://www.iworkwithdumbasses.com.

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